v. 4 for testing Israel
1 Pe 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
2 Co 13:6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.
Jas 1:3–4 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Jas 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Gen 22:1 God tested Abraham – offer Isaac
v. 7 three failures: did evil, forgot God, served idols
Mistakes that led to failure
I. Lived Among Them
A. Dt 20:16–18 you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. 17But you shall utterly destroy them … 18so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the Lord your God.
1. Le 20:24 I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples.
B. God calls us to be separate
1. 2 Co 6:17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.
2. Re 18:4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
C. Principle of holiness
1. 1 Pe 1:14–16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
II. Married Them
A. 3:6 took their daughters for themselves as wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons
B. Repeated theme
1. Ge 6:2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose…. 5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
2. Ez 10 forced men to divorce foreign wives
3. Neh 13 attacked men for marrying foreigners
C. Christians given similar warnings
1. 2 Co 6:14–17 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.
2. Complimented by 1 Co 7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
III. Served Their Gods
A. Intermarriage primary cause of idolatry
1. Ex 34:16 you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.
2. 1 Ki 11:3 700 wives and 300 concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.
B. Every town had its own version of Baal
1. Worshipper controls the deity
a. turn desires into instructions
2. Grand festivals, public and popular
C. Ashtoreth – Babylonian Ishtar
1. Practically same as Aphrodite/Venus
2. Eroticism and fertility – prostitution
3. Two – personal consumption and erotic pleasure
D. Modern: American Idols, fashion icons, financial oracles, gods of the gridiron
IV. Grading the Test
A. Influence of evil people leads people to idolatry
B. Idolatry doesn’t threaten God’s power
1. It deceives us about the reality of life
2. God created and designed the universe
3. His instructions bring protection and happiness
Ignoring him brings destruction and misery